Have you heard that fasting boosts exercise endurance? Well, a research study worked out by Dr Mark Mattson is suggestive of this inference. The researchers involved hail from the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore.
Those who observe fasts are likely to have a metabolism wherein their body favours the fats and ketones breakdown to fuel muscles. On the contrary, those who do not fast have a carbohydrate breakdown to release the essential energy. This present study shall be marking its presence in the FASEB Journal.
How did Dr Mark Mattson initiate the research to illustrate fasting boosts exercise endurance?
The research team planned to proceed ahead with four groups of mice and keep them under observation for the next two months. Four groups of mice were:
- Control Mice Group (CTRL)
- Exercise Group (EX)
- Alternate Day Food Deprivation Group (ADF)
- Exercise + Alternate Day Food Deprivation Group (EXADF)
- The CTRL group were free to eat as much as they want. Further, they were not subjected to any form of exercising patterns.
- The EX group, too have the liberty to eat as much as they want; however, they were subjected to 45 minutes of strict treadmill activity on per day basis.
- The ADF group were the ones to live on a fixed amount of food served on alternate days. They were debarred from treadmill exercising.
- The EXADF group resembled their ADF counterparts coupled with 45 minutes of treadmill exercising.
The researchers observed that those groups who were subjected to treadmill outshined the others in endurance tests. Besides, the EXADF group were found to be more efficient in comparison to the EX group.
Switch over of fuel preference:
Study infers that the ADF diet illustrates a considerable shift to fatty acids rather than carbohydrates to fuel the muscles to perform better.
EXADF group were thus entitled to possess enhanced endurance. This enhanced performance has nothing to do with the VO2 max (amount of energy for exercising). A rise in VO2 max was constant for both EX and EXADF groups. Interestingly, the EXADF group had a reduced respiratory exchange ratio which contributed to their enhanced endurance.
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On average, the overall research finding infers that the ADF diet and exercising were responsible for altering gene expression. The ADF dependent alteration contributes to lipid metabolism and cell growth; whereas the exercise dependent alteration contributes to altering calcium signaling and stress adaptation.
Thus, the present research highlighting fasting boosts exercise endurance concept is in parallel to the evolutionary pressure concept. Both the research findings conclude that in the presence of scarce food, the body is at an optimized level and performs exceptionally well.